Elevate. Embrace. Delight.
Those are my words of the year for 2016, 2017, and 2018.
The idea of making resolutions feels arbitrary to some and pointless to others. Resolutions can be broken and easily abandoned, taking us right back to where we started, but a word helps bring clarity to who you want to be, where you want to focus your attention and how you want to live your life.
A friend of mine chose Essentials as his word a few years ago, and used that as a reminder to not acquire more stuff. He used it to help him pare down what he already had. And he used it to live a less complicated personal life as well, staying away from drama and focusing on what is really essential.
Another friend chose Live last year, and as a result, she made more conscious decisions to capitalize on opportunities. She took more personal days, went on more vacations and had more fun. She prioritized her happiness.
I selected Embrace last year as a reminder to hug my husband and children much more often (I'm not a natural hugger) and also to embrace much more than people. I set out to embrace each day, embrace experiences, embrace opportunities, and even embrace discomfort. Having the word guided my choices and helped me build new habits.
This year I'm focused on Delight. I want to delight others and experience more delight myself. Knowing this is my word will help me put in the extra effort to make something extra special for others - which will also increase my own sense of delight. And it will help me choose how I spend my time, asking periodically, "Does this delight me?" and "What can I do that would be delightful?"
The concept of selecting a word is not limited to just the new year or to just one word. At work we are about to begin Phase 2 of a major construction project, which means my team will be moved to temporary stations for 4-6 weeks and then to brand new stations. That's a lot of change that requires a lot of flexibility and patience. To help support my boss as she heads up the endeavor, and to make sure our team members are able to make the best of the situation, my team leaders and I have created a motto: Calm positivity. This is the mindset we want to bring to challenges that might pop up - taking things in stride, staying focused on the positive, which is at the end of this, we will have a beautiful space in which to work together. This motto helps us remember that things might not go exactly as planned, but that staying calm will help us get through.
Heading into something new? Take some time to select your word(s).
Photo by Amador Loureiro on Unsplash